The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

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The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by David Riley » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:26 am

There are fewer and fewer frosh/soph tournaments these days, and only a couple that I would attend given the question sets that are used. I do not plan on running a f/s tournament next year: I will be down in numbers, and I would rather recast Utimna as a 16 team varsity and 16 team f/s tournament with HSAPQ and NAQT A respectively. Would jv divisions at varsity tournaments be better? Does anyone else other than Illinois have a f/s circuit?

I threw my f/s to the varsity lions this year and they don't seem to be too worse for wear. Comments?
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:50 am

I don't think they'll disappear, though they are decreasing in number. Boylan and Von Steuben are gone and Wheaton North maybe only has one more year after this one. Auburn is going strong (and deservedly so). Fremd, Carmel, and now Loyola are combining their Varsity and Frosh/Soph Tournaments into a single date, but that still counts as a Frosh/Soph Tournament--you bring your Frosh/Soph Team, and they spend the whole day playing other Frosh/Soph Teams.

There have never been a ton of Frosh/Soph Tournaments--maybe six maximum in any given year. Frosh/Soph question quality has generally been about the same as Varsity question quality, which is to say that it's very inconsistent.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by jonah » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:00 am

What about conferences? I know the CSL has the frosh/soph teams play separately, but is that typical in other conferences? Has this changed over the last few years?
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:23 am

The Mid-Suburban League has a separate set of competitions for frosh/soph running concurrent with the varsity events.
http://rmhs.d214.org/activities/scholas ... cores.html

I like the fact that there are frosh/soph events that let those kids get confidence playing against their peers. The team I took to Fremd had 4 freshmen on it. I'm concerned that the majority of them wouldn't bother playing if I told them they would be up against juniors and seniors everytime they went to play. They enjoy being competitive and want to have fun. Playing, say, Fremd's varsity would exclude both of those possibilities.
To address Riley's comment re: his frosh/soph being OK playing varsity... The fact that my kids all played middle school scholastic bowl may have spoiled them since they never had to play people 3 years older than them, whereas the Loyola kids largely never played the IESA circuit and know no different.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by David Riley » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:06 pm

Fair enough, but outside of league play, which is "required", do you really want your kids to play Question Bank questions again?
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by BGSO » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:18 pm

I think that like the varsity circuit as question quality continues to slide at the current pace, then the frosh/soph circuit will either: Die, become like JV circuits in other states, or follow the trend of varsity and start creating tournaments that go against the norm (HAVOC?).
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by David Riley » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:20 pm

Sorry, I got interrupted before I could completely finish my thought...I'm just saying, I would not mind maintaing a f/s circuit if the question quality was there. I think NAQT A is suitable for f/s, but I don't want to waste my time and my team's time playing Question Bank, Questions Galore, etc. A f/s or jv division at a Varsity tournament with good quesitons would ensure that they aren't playing varsity teams. I just don't think it's worth it to have a f/s circuit w/ bad questions.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:51 pm

True enough. The questions left something to be desired, but comes the question of, is bad quizbowl better than no quizbowl at all?
And to be sure, I love that I don't have to take a bus to the Fremd tournament since many of our kids live as close or closer to Fremd as BHS.
I endorse the idea of NAQT A-sets for frosh/soph tournaments. Perhaps the IHSSBCA could push the use of NAQT A-sets for frosh/soph tourneys... I know I'd be happy to see no more Question Bank questions, but would be even happier if Mr. Brown would write pyramidal toss-ups going forward!
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:24 pm

Woody Paige wrote:...is bad quizbowl better than no quizbowl at all?
That's a false dilemma. You should work to effect the (eminently achievable) end of not having to play bad quizbowl. Part of that may be refusing to do so in the short run, or it may be playing even more.
Thus I'm not presuming to judge your actions at this point. I am very much judging the attitude I see behind your quote. I claim that that attitude, which says "this is just the way it is," is wrong-headed and counterproductive; the fact is that you as a coach have non-negligible influence on the state and directions of this game and, if you're not using yours for the betterment of the game, you're implicitly arguing for the status quo. I find that status quo far below satisfactory and I hope you agree and will act accordingly.

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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:42 pm

Captain Scipio wrote:
Woody Paige wrote:...is bad quizbowl better than no quizbowl at all?
That's a false dilemma. You should work to effect the (eminently achievable) end of not having to play bad quizbowl. Part of that may be refusing to do so in the short run, or it may be playing even more.
Thus I'm not presuming to judge your actions at this point. I am very much judging the attitude I see behind your quote. I claim that that attitude, which says "this is just the way it is," is wrong-headed and counterproductive; the fact is that you as a coach have non-negligible influence on the state and directions of this game and, if you're not using yours for the betterment of the game, you're implicitly arguing for the status quo. I find that status quo far below satisfactory and I hope you agree and will act accordingly.

MaS
Maybe you're over-reading the context of what I said. On January 17th, we played at Fremd, questions be damned, since it cost me nothing more than the entry fees. That is, no transportation costs were incurred. Would I like to see better questions there? Absolutely! But that's a secondary issue to its accessibility.
I think many people at that tournament don't even understand that the questions were, in fact, bad. If you want to advance good questions in this state, we need to be working to expose the kids to good questions, so I'm doing my part... by using some of the HAVOC questions at our first MS meet in 2 weeks.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by JackGlerum » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:48 pm

Bad tournaments aren't going to go away, ever. The key is to not attend them.

I had the aforementioned mindset of "bad quizbowl is better than no quizbowl" last year, and I learned my lesson. After Christmas break, I went on a trophy whoring streak at Kaneland, Naperville Central, and Fremd only to get my face beaten in by Greg all three times. I think I can speak for both of us in saying that we regret going to tournaments like these.

You can't have a legitimate F/S season of good tournaments by only going to F/S events. People treat Andrew and Zach like they are freaks of nature because they are competitive as underclassmen, but they answer is simple: they go to varsity tournaments. This is why programs like New Trier, Maine South, Stevenson, and Auburn are consistently the best teams in the state. They don't rebuild, they reload. They do this because they throw the shorties to the lions and see how they react. We just started to do it this year, and are already reaping the benefits.

Another thing worth mentioning that is along the same lines: I have played over 60 matches this year. I haven't played a single one with IHSA format. Am I going to be unprepared for IHSA when it comes around? Of course not.

What I'm saying is that you choose what you do with your Saturdays. Once people stop attending tournaments like Fremd that use one liners and that don't have moderators, they will lose whatever legitimacy they might have had before.

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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Kanga-Rat Murder Society » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:54 pm

I think that frosh/soph tournaments in Illinois will die, and deservedly so. Mr. Price mentioned that his team felt comfortable when playing Frosh/Soph questions. THIS IS THE PROBLEM. When I played Frosh/Soph, I was fully satisfied with my play. I was the leading scorer on a team that performed pretty well and I did so without studying. I was content and felt no need to study. When I reached Varsity, I felt overmatched, and only then did I study. I lost two years of time playing in the "comfortable" circuit when I could have been getting better for the real circuit.

Contrary to the beliefs of many, there is almost no corrolation between JV talent and Varsity talent. They cover two very different canons which hardly ever overlap. Instead of getting kids to learn things in a canon that is unrelated to the Varsity canon, why not send them to Varsity? Sure, some people will quit. However, it will encourage others to work harder and learn the Varsity canon. I think great players need to be competitive, and those are the players who will take the beatings in order to get better.

I also think that the Frosh/Soph circuit has played a key role in the great disparity between teams. What do Loyola, New Trier, Auburn, Fremd and Carbondale have in common? Aside from being elite programs, they all have sent underclassmen to varsity tournaments. This early exposure to Varsity gives these teams a two year head start over the BG's of the world. Underclassmen need to see varsity questions, and the only way that I can see this happening is to kill the circuit. Therefore, LET IT DIE!

I just noticed Jack said basically the same thing, but I will post this anyways.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Siverus Snape » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:26 pm

I think that Auburn will continue to host a house-written frosh-soph tournament as long as possible, if for nothing else than to expose new teams and young players to pyramidality and, starting this year, mACF bonuses. The way I see it, it's not as important (at least for beginners) that players compete against much stronger players as it is that the questions themselves challenge them and promote learning. It can be very intimidating for a new player, especially one who might be used to easy dominance on the middle school level, to encounter a varsity-level answer space. Such a player hasn't even built up a skeletal understanding of what's out there through school coursework. It's harder to learn about things for which you have no context.

Only a minority of programs have built up the kind of momentum and sustained player interest to put in inexperienced teams in varsity fields on high-quality varsity questions. The majority still favor the old system, with the old problems of question quality, because they're used to it. Frosh-soph tournaments present an opportunity to expose new players to consensus good quiz bowl on an equal footing with the status quo. At Auburn's frosh-soph tournament, some relatively new coaches and players made a point to say that they liked the questions and, more surprisingly, liked the mACF bonus format. Question Bank tournaments will continue to draw attendance from plenty of teams even if the stronger programs boycott them. If those strong programs end their tradition of hosting frosh-soph tournaments or JV divisions at varsity tournaments with good questions, we'll most likely end up with the same system of several yearly contenders and not much else. The frosh-soph circuit may be more important than we realize, because it's our best opportunity to foster an appreciation of good quiz bowl before it is quashed by inertia.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:48 pm

Siverus Snape wrote:I think that Auburn will continue to host a house-written frosh-soph tournament as long as possible, if for nothing else than to expose new teams and young players to pyramidality and, starting this year, mACF bonuses. The way I see it, it's not as important (at least for beginners) that players compete against much stronger players as it is that the questions themselves challenge them and promote learning. It can be very intimidating for a new player, especially one who might be used to easy dominance on the middle school level, to encounter a varsity-level answer space. Such a player hasn't even built up a skeletal understanding of what's out there through school coursework. It's harder to learn about things for which you have no context.

Only a minority of programs have built up the kind of momentum and sustained player interest to put in inexperienced teams in varsity fields on high-quality varsity questions. The majority still favor the old system, with the old problems of question quality, because they're used to it. Frosh-soph tournaments present an opportunity to expose new players to consensus good quiz bowl on an equal footing with the status quo. At Auburn's frosh-soph tournament, some relatively new coaches and players made a point to say that they liked the questions and, more surprisingly, liked the mACF bonus format. Question Bank tournaments will continue to draw attendance from plenty of teams even if the stronger programs boycott them. If those strong programs end their tradition of hosting frosh-soph tournaments or JV divisions at varsity tournaments with good questions, we'll most likely end up with the same system of several yearly contenders and not much else. The frosh-soph circuit may be more important than we realize, because it's our best opportunity to foster an appreciation of good quiz bowl before it is quashed by inertia.
What he said.

Nick is right, in that JV dominance doesn't necessarily predict varsity excellence. Middle school, OTOH...
http://www.iesa.org/activities/scb/scores.asp
And yet Joseph Ahmad, Ben Cohen, David Garb, etc. also prove you don't need to play in MS to become a good player.
Oh, and Jack; Zach scored a 36 on his ACT as an 8th grader, so you might want to pick someone else to choose as an example of "playing up makes you a better player." :wink: Not saying you're not right, though, as your frosh/soph have looked really good in our 2 matches against them. But whatever the case, I don't believe our better players have the level of desire you ascribe to your frosh/soph. For the Fremd tourney, I had 5 out of 10 make it a priority to show up Saturday. Come to think of it, I can think of 2, maybe 3, players at BHS, frosh to senior, that consider quizbowl priority 1. The rest do debate or chess or cross-country or swimming or playing video games or basket-weaving or whatever. Given I'm not head of the program, nor do I want to be at this time, I'm really not in any position to dictate the change that would be needed to take the next step. Ask Nick and David what playing against Barrington at the frosh-soph level was like a few years ago... That's right, there was NO TEAM AT THE CONFERENCE MEETS half the time, and never during the pre-season tourney. Ask Drs. Reinstein, Greene, and Riley how often they've seen BHS at any tournaments prior to last year...My point is that I feel I'm doing a decent job of trying to help our varsity coach into building a winner. Will it sustain itself? We'll see.
So, are we talking about the elimination of frosh-soph? Because I just don't see that happening. Siva hit the nail on the head, though, the questions are every bit as important to building up a good player as the competition is. I've been surprised at how often things come up, even in varsity answer spaces, that have been asked about in a middle school match.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by BGSO » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:56 pm

EDIT: Made a new topic

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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:46 pm

Based on the fact that I generally have some students more willing to attend Frosh/Soph Tournaments than Varsity Tournaments, I'll join the side that thinks Frosh/Soph Tournaments are good. I'll throw in the caveats that it is good when Freshmen and Sophomores play at the Varsity level (A Team or not) and, of course, tournaments with bad questions are much less helpful than tournaments with good questions. If the tossup lead-ins and bonus hard parts don't challenge the strongest teams to at least some extent, then the questions are bad.

As far as going to a convenient tournament with weak questions is concerned, teams should do what is best for them and not worry about whether their presence will cause a tournament to thrive or fail. I coach a high-profile team that lists its tournament schedule on the internet for all to see, and the tournaments we go to generally draw fewer teams than the tournaments we don't go to. Those tournaments aren't smaller because teams fear us--it's because we generally choose tournaments based on the questions while most schools choose based on tradition. When coaches register for a tournament, they don't care whether or not New Trier or Barrington will be there.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:13 am

BG MSL Champs wrote: Contrary to the beliefs of many, there is almost no corrolation between JV talent and Varsity talent. They cover two very different canons which hardly ever overlap.
Please explain. Maybe things are different here in Georgia, but I find this hard to believe.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Kanga-Rat Murder Society » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:45 am

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
BG MSL Champs wrote: Contrary to the beliefs of many, there is almost no corrolation between JV talent and Varsity talent. They cover two very different canons which hardly ever overlap.
Please explain. Maybe things are different here in Georgia, but I find this hard to believe.
I dominated JV based on my ability to answer questions about James Bond,Sports, State Capitals, National Capitals, and very basic U.S. history. The lead-ins were terrible and I did not go to a single tournament that anybody could call "Good Quizbowl". Right now, I am aware of only two F/S tournaments that are "good quizbowl". One is at Loyola and the other is at Auburn (there may be more, I just am unaware of them). Most teams will not send F/S players up to Varsity, thus limiting their players to 10 good games per year. Also, if a kid is never made aware of "good" quizbowl, how can he be expected to demand it. This year our F/S team attended neither of the aforementioned good tournaments. Talking to them, they are under the impression that Varsity is based on Bond and spelling too. They have no interest in coming to the team study sessions at my house, as they see no need to learn. This means that even if they are better JV players than a team like New Trier, they will just get crushed when they get to Varsity.
Shcool wrote:Based on the fact that I generally have some students more willing to attend Frosh/Soph Tournaments than Varsity Tournaments, I'll join the side that thinks Frosh/Soph Tournaments are good. I'll throw in the caveats that it is good when Freshmen and Sophomores play at the Varsity level (A Team or not) and, of course, tournaments with bad questions are much less helpful than tournaments with good questions. If the tossup lead-ins and bonus hard parts don't challenge the strongest teams to at least some extent, then the questions are bad.
The problem with this is that as long as we have a F/S circuit, few coaches will send up their players. Garb and I would have started on Varsity our Sophomore Year, while Danny Bulmash (our old captain) would have been the leading scorer on Varsity his Freshman Year. None of us played on Varsity until Junior Year. The circuit prevents teams that do not have a Reinstein, Riley, Greene, or Palmer from becoming good teams by keeping players sheltered.

I need to go to school, so I am ending this here.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by David Riley » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:13 am

I think this is the real problem. I know I've seen it within the ranks of my own team in the past. when they would drop out of varsity when they find out that the questions aren't James Bond, etc. This was why I have begun to play my f/s at varsity tournaments, to avoid the abrupt shift from f/s to varsity play.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by at your pleasure » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:34 pm

I would like to note that a frosh/soph circuit is hardly a prerequisite for a strong varsity circuit; the noted quizbowl hotspot that is the DC metro area does not have much of a frosh/soph circuit. Besides, during at least the afternoon rounds, people should be playing teams that are about as strong as they are.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by BGSO » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:43 pm

Well, do your freshman and sophomore's not play until junior year? I think what we are trying to discuss is whether or not the Frosh/soph circuit helps our teams or doesn't...and at this point I feel the only thing it does is teach freshman not to blurt.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by mlaird » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:15 pm

One thing that I think could really help in this state is something that Dr. Graebner mentioned: rebracketing in the afternoon. Teams should be playing similar level teams in the afternoon, and playing a mix of teams in the morning. Those morning rounds serve to show lower level teams where they can strive to be, and rebracketed afternoon rounds serve as a means to that end. If F/S level players are playing at the Varsity level on 'B' teams, then odds are they will be rebracketed in a low bracket with other 'B' teams and teams that aren't as good. This benefits everyone.

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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by at your pleasure » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:22 pm

BGSO said:
Well, do your freshman and sophomore's not play until junior year?
They do play, usually on B-teams.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by JackGlerum » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:29 pm

mlaird wrote:One thing that I think could really help in this state is something that Dr. Graebner mentioned: rebracketing in the afternoon. Teams should be playing similar level teams in the afternoon, and playing a mix of teams in the morning. Those morning rounds serve to show lower level teams where they can strive to be, and rebracketed afternoon rounds serve as a means to that end. If F/S level players are playing at the Varsity level on 'B' teams, then odds are they will be rebracketed in a low bracket with other 'B' teams and teams that aren't as good. This benefits everyone.
This is a good point. One of the underlying problems is that people aren't willing to stay longer than 5 rounds. Maybe they would stay if they knew they'd be playing teams of equal level post-lunch? Maybe, maybe not.

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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by BGSO » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:37 pm

That would take a bit, most non committed coaches expect to be able to take their teams to a tournament and leave at lunch. I'm not sure how they would react knowing they had to play another 3-5 matches.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:34 pm

What if you did 8 pools of 4 teams in the morning. Broke for lunch, then reconvened with two, seeded 16-team brackets? 1-16 in the championship bracket, and 17-32 in the lower bracket. Each with it's own consolation bracket, thus giving teams the minimum of 5 games? Perhaps as many as 9 in the upper bracket's consolation division I devised in this spreadsheet...
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by BGSO » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:04 pm

In general though, aren't we supposed to frown on single elimination? What if we were able to give the top teams pool play, while giving the bottom teams a single elimination bracket?
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by JackGlerum » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:06 pm

Woody Paige wrote:8 pools of 4 teams in the morning.
3 games and then lunch? I think not.

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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Stephen Colbert » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:26 pm

Woody Paige wrote:What if you did 8 pools of 4 teams in the morning. Broke for lunch, then reconvened with two, seeded 16-team brackets? 1-16 in the championship bracket, and 17-32 in the lower bracket. Each with it's own consolation bracket, thus giving teams the minimum of 5 games? Perhaps as many as 9 in the upper bracket's consolation division I devised in this spreadsheet...
I may be confused, but conceivably, could a previously undefeated team (seeded #1 after the morning rounds) which loses game 33 be eliminated from the tournament while a team already with one loss (say the #11 seed after the morning rounds) who then loses again in the afternoon (in game 8) go on to win the championship? I'm not disagreeing with the concept, I just think the previously undefeated team (now with one loss) should at least be guaranteed more games.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:30 pm

BG MSL Champs wrote:
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
BG MSL Champs wrote: Contrary to the beliefs of many, there is almost no corrolation between JV talent and Varsity talent. They cover two very different canons which hardly ever overlap.
Please explain. Maybe things are different here in Georgia, but I find this hard to believe.
I dominated JV based on my ability to answer questions about James Bond,Sports, State Capitals, National Capitals, and very basic U.S. history. The lead-ins were terrible and I did not go to a single tournament that anybody could call "Good Quizbowl". Right now, I am aware of only two F/S tournaments that are "good quizbowl". One is at Loyola and the other is at Auburn (there may be more, I just am unaware of them). Most teams will not send F/S players up to Varsity, thus limiting their players to 10 good games per year. Also, if a kid is never made aware of "good" quizbowl, how can he be expected to demand it. This year our F/S team attended neither of the aforementioned good tournaments. Talking to them, they are under the impression that Varsity is based on Bond and spelling too. They have no interest in coming to the team study sessions at my house, as they see no need to learn. This means that even if they are better JV players than a team like New Trier, they will just get crushed when they get to Varsity.
That's rough. Down here we have JV tournaments run by the top teams (Chattahoochee, Brookwood), so the question quality is good. Do you believe that if the question quality improved, a JV circuit would be useful for improving players?
Shcool wrote:Based on the fact that I generally have some students more willing to attend Frosh/Soph Tournaments than Varsity Tournaments, I'll join the side that thinks Frosh/Soph Tournaments are good. I'll throw in the caveats that it is good when Freshmen and Sophomores play at the Varsity level (A Team or not) and, of course, tournaments with bad questions are much less helpful than tournaments with good questions. If the tossup lead-ins and bonus hard parts don't challenge the strongest teams to at least some extent, then the questions are bad.
The problem with this is that as long as we have a F/S circuit, few coaches will send up their players. Garb and I would have started on Varsity our Sophomore Year, while Danny Bulmash (our old captain) would have been the leading scorer on Varsity his Freshman Year. None of us played on Varsity until Junior Year. The circuit prevents teams that do not have a Reinstein, Riley, Greene, or Palmer from becoming good teams by keeping players sheltered.

I need to go to school, so I am ending this here.
Why would your coach do that, though? Would he not just put the best players on varsity? Either way, I'm not sure I believe that having a Frosh/Soph circuit causes coaches to not play their best players on varsity.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:55 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:Why would your coach do that, though? Would he not just put the best players on varsity? Either way, I'm not sure I believe that having a Frosh/Soph circuit causes coaches to not play their best players on varsity.
It happened to me. I was not allowed on my Varsity team (except for one time when we didn't have enough players to field a team once my freshman year) until I was a junior. IHSA rules only allowed you to have 10 players on your roster at Regional time, and my coach "didn't want to disrupt the chemistry" because all the juniors and seniors were good friends. During the rest of the season, my team never sent multiple teams to tourneys even though we'd bring 10+ people, so I never got invited (even to the varsity practice) because I'd never play.

Was it because there was a F/S circuit for me to play on? No. Did the existence of the F/S circuit make it more acceptable (to my coach, anyway)? Possibly. Could all of this just be solved by bring more than 1 team to Varsity events? Yep.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Kanga-Rat Murder Society » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:11 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote: That's rough. Down here we have JV tournaments run by the top teams (Chattahoochee, Brookwood), so the question quality is good. Do you believe that if the question quality improved, a JV circuit would be useful for improving players?
This is an interesting question. I do think it is important to note that quizbowl in the south is much different from quizbowl in Illinois. The south generally has a single format which is followed by everybody. In IL, we have a rift between those who like Scholastic Bowl (5 players, heavy math comp, etc.) and those who like quizbowl (4 man, NAQT, HSAPQ, etc.). As Mr. Reinstein mentioned recently, the fact that a team like New Trier is hosting a tournament does not draw teams. In fact, it decreases attendance. Also, and possibly most importantly, Frosh/Soph tourneys hosted alongside Varsity tournaments are practically unheard of (Fremd last week was the first one I have been to). Would top teams their host JV and Varsity tournaments on the same day? I doubt it. I would also like to know more about how it goes in the south. If a Varsity team outlasts a JV team by several hours, what do they do? Do you use seperate busses or just ride in cars?

Now to answer your question, I think I would if it is done right. In my experience, JV is much more casual, to the point where many teams are apathetic towards their results. I do not know if good questions would change this. Part of me feels that good questions would lead teams to study useful information, which would improve the scene. Another part of me feels that coaches would not care, and continue to approach their jobs as an extra way to make money without working. The only difference now is that every game would be 50-50 instead of 100-100. Is it worth a shot to try to get good questions to the circuit? Sure. If this happens and the teams continue to treat it as a casual activity, the circuit should die.

Edit/ Add On: Coaches do not bring up players because this is what everyone else does. Most coaches really do not care about winning, but rather about tradition. Brad was an amazing player, so if he did not get moved up, nobody would. I will continue to insist that the only way this pattern can end is by slow change or aboloshing Frosh/Soph. For the record, we did manage to get Mr. Park to bring a Sophomore up to Varsity, a great sign for the future of Bison Scholastic Bowl.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:17 pm

styxman wrote:
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:Why would your coach do that, though? Would he not just put the best players on varsity? Either way, I'm not sure I believe that having a Frosh/Soph circuit causes coaches to not play their best players on varsity.
It happened to me. I was not allowed on my Varsity team (except for one time when we didn't have enough players to field a team once my freshman year) until I was a junior. IHSA rules only allowed you to have 10 players on your roster at Regional time, and my coach "didn't want to disrupt the chemistry" because all the juniors and seniors were good friends. During the rest of the season, my team never sent multiple teams to tourneys even though we'd bring 10+ people, so I never got invited (even to the varsity practice) because I'd never play.

Was it because there was a F/S circuit for me to play on? No. Did the existence of the F/S circuit make it more acceptable (to my coach, anyway)? Possibly. Could all of this just be solved by bring more than 1 team to Varsity events? Yep.
As a member of those aforementioned teams, that's not entirely factual. We did bring multiple teams on at least a couple of occasions(Kaneland my senior year springs to mind), the problem there was an absolute glut of seniors that year. Was it fair that you weren't allowed to come along, particularly when you would have significantly helped the B teams chances without question? Absolutely not. While we can quibble on the A team situation, it's unquestionable you should have been B teaming it up weekly.

While I disagree with the exact nature of the circumstances you went through, I concur with your assessment. Because of the existance of a f/s "circuit", for the average coach, its going to have to be a dire situation before an underclassman gets a chance with varsity (such as the Crandall pants emergency that allowed me to play at Masonics my sophomore year).

One would think that dedicated coaches would pick up on the example of illustrious programs such as Auburn and Loyola and attempt to mirror them, but so far, for an activity that by definition rewards good pattern recognition and swift thinking, it's yet to catch on.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:17 pm

Stephen Colbert wrote:
Woody Paige wrote:What if you did 8 pools of 4 teams in the morning. Broke for lunch, then reconvened with two, seeded 16-team brackets? 1-16 in the championship bracket, and 17-32 in the lower bracket. Each with it's own consolation bracket, thus giving teams the minimum of 5 games? Perhaps as many as 9 in the upper bracket's consolation division I devised in this spreadsheet...
I may be confused, but conceivably, could a previously undefeated team (seeded #1 after the morning rounds) which loses game 33 be eliminated from the tournament while a team already with one loss (say the #11 seed after the morning rounds) who then loses again in the afternoon (in game 8) go on to win the championship? I'm not disagreeing with the concept, I just think the previously undefeated team (now with one loss) should at least be guaranteed more games.
As I wrote this up, I wanted to have a reward for the teams finishing in the top half, which, in this case, would give #1-16 at least a 6th game, and not just the 5 that all but 12 have received in my last two tourneys. Not saying this is what I'm going to do as I'd need 32 A teams, and I only have 29 right now.
You might also notice that playing for the consolation championship gets you a 9th game (1 more than the champions bracket gets), which seems odd, but I can't solve the issue of how to shorten that with the idea that game #5 is an elimination game in the consolation tier, but not in the champion's tier. Know what I mean?
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by mlaird » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:01 pm

Woody Paige wrote: You might also notice that playing for the consolation championship gets you a 9th game (1 more than the champions bracket gets), which seems odd, but I can't solve the issue of how to shorten that with the idea that game #5 is an elimination game in the consolation tier, but not in the champion's tier. Know what I mean?
Masonic Regionals and State does it the same way. It's unavoidable in Double Elimination.
Dresden The Moderator wrote:(such as the Crandall pants emergency that allowed me to play at Masonics my sophomore year).
BJ, I must know what this is.

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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by dtaylor4 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:08 pm

mlaird wrote:
Woody Paige wrote: You might also notice that playing for the consolation championship gets you a 9th game (1 more than the champions bracket gets), which seems odd, but I can't solve the issue of how to shorten that with the idea that game #5 is an elimination game in the consolation tier, but not in the champion's tier. Know what I mean?
Masonic Regionals and State does it the same way. It's unavoidable in Double Elimination.
The problem with this statement is that it is not true double elim. Notice that the teas given the award for: champion, consolation champion, 2nd, and 3rd place teams have not lost two games.

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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:32 pm

Dresden The Moderator wrote:(such as the Crandall pants emergency that allowed me to play at Masonics my sophomore year).
BJ, I must know what this is.[/quote]

My sophomore year, due to schedule conflicts, I went to Masonics as the sixth man (In Galena, which is just too darn far to be considered Winnebago's "region"). I was expecting to kinda platoon in as the fifth starter, but when we got there, we found out that Crandall's perpetual short wearing was an issue; in addition to matching tops, the Masons insisted upon pants. So, since I was not his size pants, but a Junior we had with us was, Crandall wore his pants all day, that guy wore shorts and covered his legs in shame with a coat, and I got to play Varsity at Masonics. Then, pizza!
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:22 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:
mlaird wrote:
Woody Paige wrote: You might also notice that playing for the consolation championship gets you a 9th game (1 more than the champions bracket gets), which seems odd, but I can't solve the issue of how to shorten that with the idea that game #5 is an elimination game in the consolation tier, but not in the champion's tier. Know what I mean?
Masonic Regionals and State does it the same way. It's unavoidable in Double Elimination.
The problem with this statement is that it is not true double elim. Notice that the teas given the award for: champion, consolation champion, 2nd, and 3rd place teams have not lost two games.
Right. And I have no intention of trying to make it a double-elimination tourney since that could make things last way too long. If a team manages to claim a 1-1-16 seed, they could be undefeated through pool play, win their round of next two rounds, and then get bounced by a team that has potentially lost twice already in round 6. FYI, under this system, I'd be handing out quarterfinalist trophies to the losers of games 33-36.

Anyway, I just thought I'd toy with this as an alternative to the usual IL practice of pools of 6, then see most of ya after 5 games. This would give some teams a chance to match up against teams more of their strength for the 4th and 5th rounds. What's more, losing twice in the first three games wouldn't effectively make the next two games meaningless, rather you'd get to match up against someone more your speed. For the afternoon.

Oh, and Jack, our tourney starts at 9 AM (so really 9:10), so I figure that lunch would occur around 11 AM. Give teams an hour to eat, and reconvene for the rest of the games at noon. Do you think 11 AM is too early for lunch? McDonald's is serving by then! :grin:
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by rjaguar3 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:47 pm

Dresden The Moderator wrote:
Dresden The Moderator wrote:(such as the Crandall pants emergency that allowed me to play at Masonics my sophomore year).
BJ, I must know what this is.
My sophomore year, due to schedule conflicts, I went to Masonics as the sixth man (In Galena, which is just too darn far to be considered Winnebago's "region"). I was expecting to kinda platoon in as the fifth starter, but when we got there, we found out that Crandall's perpetual short wearing was an issue; in addition to matching tops, the Masons insisted upon pants. So, since I was not his size pants, but a Junior we had with us was, Crandall wore his pants all day, that guy wore shorts and covered his legs in shame with a coat, and I got to play Varsity at Masonics. Then, pizza!
Only in IHSA (and Florida) can there be so much drama about what pants a person is wearing, as opposed to any aspect of knowledge.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by at your pleasure » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:03 pm

What if you did 8 pools of 4 teams in the morning. Broke for lunch, then reconvened with two, seeded 16-team brackets? 1-16 in the championship bracket, and 17-32 in the lower bracket. Each with it's own consolation bracket, thus giving teams the minimum of 5 games? Perhaps as many as 9 in the upper bracket's consolation division I devised in this spreadsheet...
Why not just use the card system with schedules outlined at http://www.charterschool.org/clubs/acad ... et3132.php? 32 teams should work really well, since apparently card systems work best with powers of 2. As for the afternoon, how about 8 brackets of 4 determind by record(eg, holder of cards 1-4 are one bracket, then holders of cards 4-8, and so on)? This would garuantee all teams 9 games, most of which would be competitive.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by BGSO » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:14 pm

I think a half problem with the full rebracket is that not all coaches are prepared to play all nine matches, I know that prior to this year our coach expected five or six matches at once. Maybe you should try something similar to what Mr. Reinstein did at NT varsity, except for the bottom 24 teams, make some sort of single elimination bracket, with the two teams that played in for the extra match get a first round bye?
Last edited by BGSO on Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by at your pleasure » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:31 pm

BGSO said
I think a half problem with the full rebracket is that not all coaches are prepared to play all nine matches, I know that prior to this year our coach expected five or six matches at once. Maybe you should try something similar to what Mr. Riley did at NT varsity, except for the bottom 24 teams, make some sort of single elimination bracket, with the two teams that played in for the extra match get a first round bye?
If it is the bottom teams that leave en masse, then you can simply cut out however many of the bottom brackets will not be needed. As for getting coaches to stay all nine rounds, I think that prehaps the announcment/ last email should explain how the rebracketing will work, how all nine matches will be significant because all nine affect ranking, and that leaving early would unecessarily deprive teams who stay of a competive game. Coaches should also be asked to inform the TD if they are leaving after lunch, which will both allow the TD to adjust the schedule as needed and indicate that staying after lunch, rather than leaving, is considered the default option.
Incidentally, what did Rienstein do for NT varsity? I was at Charter that day, and the announcement does not say anything about how the tournament was run.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by BGSO » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:34 pm

Power matching in the morning, 5-0 team gets a bye to the top playoff bracket as does the top 4-1 team on median score.

The 4 4-1 teams left play eachother with the winners going into the top playoff bracket and the losers going into the second playoff bracket

The 4 top 3-2 teams based on median score play each other with the winner going into the bottom playoff bracket and the loser going home.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:29 pm

BG MSL Champs wrote: If a Varsity team outlasts a JV team by several hours, what do they do? Do you use seperate busses or just ride in cars?
This happened once this year, but the other way around. We don't use buses, though, so it wasn't a problem.
Edit/ Add On: Coaches do not bring up players because this is what everyone else does. Most coaches really do not care about winning, but rather about tradition. Brad was an amazing player, so if he did not get moved up, nobody would. I will continue to insist that the only way this pattern can end is by slow change or aboloshing Frosh/Soph. For the record, we did manage to get Mr. Park to bring a Sophomore up to Varsity, a great sign for the future of Bison Scholastic Bowl.
That's too bad, but I'm still not sure you can blame the Frosh/soph circuit. If there was no Frosh/soph circuit, wouldn't it be just as likely that your coach would just not have freshman/sophomores play at all?
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:50 pm

BG MSL Champs wrote:
If a Varsity team outlasts a JV team by several hours, what do they do? Do you use seperate busses or just ride in cars?
We just take cars. We don't get busses from our school, and we need to take a separate car for each team anyways.
That's too bad, but I'm still not sure you can blame the Frosh/soph circuit. If there was no Frosh/soph circuit, wouldn't it be just as likely that your coach would just not have freshman/sophomores play at all?
I suspect that the coach would react differently to a choice between playing on the varsity circuit or not playing at all than to a choice between playing on the varsity circuit and playing on the frosh/soph circuit. In addtion, if schools bring two teams to varsity events, then any interested players could play even if the coach did not want to promote them.
Also, I would think that one can legitimatly not promote a superior player over a inferior player for a specfic team-building reason. If the younger player's specialty is already being taken care of by someone on the A-team, but the inferior player's specialty matches up to a gap in the A-team's knowledge, then the inferior player should be promoted.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by Dan-Don » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:12 am

Well I certainly hope Illinois frosh/soph tourneys are not dead. Saint Viator is in the very early stages of planning a F/S tourney for next season. (By that I mean we've begun to talk about it.) The school does not give us a budget and we want to use this as a fundraiser. We'd use a house-written modified ACF format, very much inspired by the top-notch tourney the boys at Auburn put together two weeks ago.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by harpersferry » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:34 pm

Dan, I think that would be a very good thing for the circuit. My advise if you do decide to do it: start as early as humanly possible. If your players are not used to writing questions, it will take a while to get anything usable. Also, read up on the many threads about house-writes and how to do them well (for example, you'd need to choose a way to assemble packets-such as the wiki thing Jonah did, Google Docs, or QED, because word simply doesn't cut it). It takes a ton of work, but it is a great way to build your team as well as advance good quizbowl in the state. Good luck if you do decide to tackle it.

I think taking initiative like this is the way a quality F/S circuit will come to IL. It will take longer than it has on the varsity level, because that's where most of the focus has been for improvement, but there's no reason that F/S has to die just because most of what is there is right now is bad. A few years ago, most of what was at the varsity level was just as bad. Things change. Between new good tournaments (which don't necessarily have to be house-writes. I think NAQT A sets would be good for F/S and we aren't using them in this area too much so they should be available) and the greater acceptability in the eyes of coaches to bring B/C teams of freshman and sophomores to varsity tournaments, I think there will eventually be enough good quizbowl for underclassmen. It's just that right now, there isn't.
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Re: The predicted demise of Illinois frosh/soph tournaments

Post by David Riley » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:14 am

I would welcome a St. Viator f/s tournament--good luck! We start planning the calendar of tournaments in May (!), so start checking with your admin about possible dates.

It's likely that the Davey and Goliath will be recast next year with fewer teams alongside a recast Ultima for Varsity; I simply won't have the people to run a regular Davey and Goliath.

Some unsolicited advice: if you can handle a large tournament, fine; but I would recommend starting small, no more than 24 teams, which will keep you plenty busy!
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"

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